Alder - By Anonymous
This is a place called Alder. I know not from whence I came, as Alder has leached memory of anything but itself. I know only that in my home, the snow does not fall black. The sky does not swirl. There is such a thing as daylight. The creatures of the wild are gentle and small. It is not too hot, or too cold, or too wet, or too dark, or too quiet, sometimes. And when it is, there is always a remedy. I was not trapped in my own freedom. I could move without running, turn a corner without checking, stand without looking over my shoulder. I could trust such things as the sea and the sky and the dirt. I could rely on such things as trees and walls and clothes.
This has all been taken from me. Even as I write, I am being pursued. I don’t know from whence, I don’t know by whom, I don’t know how quickly, I don’t know since when. If someone finds this note, I bid you, run. You are not where you’re meant to be, and if I’ve dropped it, my assailant is close by, and never not hungry. I pray you did not follow a trail of discarded garments, and that if you did, you did not pick any up. It was cast aside for a reason, perhaps one beyond your current understanding. If it hasn’t turned on you yet, drop it as I did, and flee.
Do not stop fleeing. Do not stop running until your feet are back in your home. Everything here knows precisely where you are, and always will. You are being chased from all sides, always. You will not survive in one place. Move, confuse them, avoid them. Run, hide, and escape. I hope I’ve been able to do the same, but if this note is being read I’m likely somewhere out there. Do not trust the ground you tread on, or the trees you hide behind. Do not trust the cities glowing in the dark; they’re the worst of all. Do not trust humans; they’ve lost their minds here, and there’s no telling what they’ll do.
Most importantly, traveler, you mustn’t bleed. If you let them smell, taste, feel human insides on the air, you will not get away. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Hiding out in town, someone else having been trapped here, tripped and scraped her knee. I daresay they were on her like dogs, only that would be an understatement. When they cleared out, she was gone. Completely gone, bones and all. No stains, no remnants. Just an empty street.
Then they looked to me. Hidden in the shadows, behind a barrel and through a window. Still, as one, they turned to stare directly into my eyes, although some didn’t have anything to stare with. The feeling remained. So take my warning, stranger. I haven’t been here long, but I’ve seen enough to know I’m correct. Do not take this warning lightly, or they’ll make short work of you.
There’s nothing more I can relay. I only hope this is found by someone capable, otherwise you’re as doomed as I was. And, since there’s no one to take responsibility for this hell you’ve found yourself in, I’m sorry. Goodnight, stranger. Be careful.